Matt Kohut

When Windows 7 launched last Autumn, our Performance Engineer, John Mese was kind enough to come on camera with me and discuss Lenovo’s Enhanced Experience, our high performance Windows 7 preload.  We talked briefly about UEFI, and John mentioned that it offered significant advantages for future PCs. Speed is one of these advantages.  In the 3 minute (or so) video below, I interview John and he demos a ThinkPad T400 with its BIOS replaced with UEFI.  Otherwise, the system is a stock T400 with a plain vanilla Windows 7 load from the Microsoft install DVD.  It cold boots to a fully functioning Windows desktop in about 11 seconds or so. In my mind that is nothing short of extraordinary.  But we could probably do better: The T400 has since been replaced with the T410.  The T410’s faster hardware would probably shave another 1 second off boot. As I mentioned, the install is a stock Windows 7 load.  If we added our Lenovo Windows 7 optimized enhancements, we could expect to shave 1 – 2 additional seconds off boot. You’ll notice that the system is running the Windows Basic color scheme.  Aero would add approximately 0.5 seconds to boot.  We would have done so, but for the drivers available on the install DVD. The HDD activity light is not completely solid, so that suggests that optimizing code, load...

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I blogged last year about my experiences with the CSWR (Center for Severe Weather Research) “storm chasing” team and our ThinkPad T400s. When I rode along with them, I abused a T400s notebook in the rain, dropped it, and then finally crushed it with a 10,000 lb. truck.  It was a lot of fun, but not a lot of practical value to the CSWR team, other than to give them confidence that the hardware we provided to them was tough. Based on our conversations with the team, we thought that a brand new Lenovo product, the ThinkCentre M90z would be an ideal fit to aid their data analysis. If you watch the brief video below, you’ll get a glimpse of the ThinkCentre M90z which we will announce next week.  Dr. Wurman talks about how the CSWR team is using the M90z in their research in a phone interview narration. Notice the large display and how the team is using the built in touch screen technology to help zoom into relevant parts of their RADAR images.  Since the machine is part of our M90 Series desktop family, you definitely can expect the same level of technology, reliability, and manageability that we’re known for, just in a more compact, integrated, and integrated package. The team is most excited that the year’s tornado season is much better than last year.  They were...

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I’m personally pleased that we have delayed our Skylight and IdeaPad U1 Hybrid systems.  The world has changed a lot since CES in January and it isn’t just because of the iPad.  Droids, Kindles, Facebook, and Evos all play a part. Though I am pleased overall, I am not happy with having to wait longer to own my own U1.  I was captivated as much as anyone else.  However, I personally believe that had we started shipping Skylight in April and the U1 in June as we originally indicated, they would have both been commercial failures. Success is all about the ecosystem pushing content and extending the device’s capabilities.  Kindle + Amazon.  Droid + Verizon.  Facebook + (whatever device you want).  Lenovo + ... ??? As conceived, I don’t think that consumers would have seen much difference between a Skylight and a netbook.  We needed an app store to create this differentiation.  However, creating a new app store in the face of multiple well-established and competing players would have required a LOT of money and a LOT of brand building campaigns.  Moving to Android solves a lot of problems for us.  It has high market awareness.  It has a lot of smart people working on making it a success.  And, it has its own

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I participated in CNET’s Reporters’ Roundtable with Rafe Needleman about two weeks ago.  The topic was The Future of Laptops.  While I encourage you to click the link and watch the segment, self-promotion isn’t why I am blogging today.  After the show was over, one thing was readily apparent – my video and audio quality were awful.  I don’t just mean subpar, I mean really, really awful.  It was embarrassing.  I go around talking about Lenovo’s superior VoIP performance (video conferencing for you non-techies) and I was using our premier platform for video conferencing – a T400s with low-light sensitive camera and dual noise cancelling microphones.  I should have blown both of these guys out of the water.  Instead, it was painful to watch and listen to. Look at these screen shots.  The first one is Rafe.  The second is Rahul.  The last, me. My PC is clearly transmitting at a lower resolution.  The video looks like something from a Fisher Price My First Webcam.  (I could have picked a more interesting location too.) I went back and forth with our ThinkPad design team.  I had the latest version of Skype.  My drivers were all up to date.  I was at work, so the data pipe was big enough.  They had me check to make sure that I removed the plastic...

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My dad is an avid user of his ThinkPad.  Some time ago I got him a 15” T61p on sale and he’s been thrilled with it.  He surfs the web almost nightly while watching Fox News and sometimes doesn’t go to bed until the battery runs down, which thanks to Power Manager, can be a long time. Other than surfing the web and writing email on Eudora (He calls it Endura), the only other thing he really does with it is use it as a presentation machine to give pharmaceutical talks about twice a month.  I regularly use Crossloop to remotely take over his PC and help him with something PowerPoint related.  He’s also the type of person that stores EVERYTHING on his desktop.  The concept of directory folders or My Documents just eludes him.  I don’t know how he can find any of his files, but somehow he does.  Now and again he completely surprises me.  I was floored when I found out that he has a Paypal account and regularly buys and sells on eBay. Because that PC is “his” PC, my mom does not want to mess with it.  She sees that crowded desktop and gets confused.  Plus, my dad always seems to be using it when she wants to check her pay stubs online or look for a recipe on food.com. She asked for a notebook and wants it to be “as simple” as possible.  (No “get a Mac” jokes, please.)   So I’ve...

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